Head Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents in Philadelphia
For motorcycle riders in Pennsylvania, head injuries are a risk when accidents happen. Brain damage and other head injuries are among the worst types of injuries that can happen in a motorcycle accident. People who sustain serious head injuries may be left with permanent disabilities or might be killed. At Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer, we represent motorcyclists who have suffered many different types of injuries in accidents, including head injuries.
Dangers of head injuries
Head injuries are the most common cause of death when people have motorcycle accidents. Even if a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet, a collision can place tremendous force on his or her head. This can cause bleeding to happen around the brain that cannot be treated at the accident scene or in the ambulance by EMTs.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, people who suffer traumatic brain injuries have a mortality rate of 30 per 100,000, which means that around 50,000 people die from TBIs each year. Motor vehicle collisions, including motorcycle accidents, are a leading cause of deaths from traumatic brain injuries.
Types of head injuries in motorcycle accidents
People can suffer a variety of different types of head injuries in motorcycle accidents, including the following:
- Skull fracture
- Traumatic brain injury
- Brain hemorrhage
- Facial fractures
- Cerebral contusion
Brain injury complications
In addition to the injury, people can suffer from other problems that are caused by brain damage. Some of these issues can be temporary. However, others can be permanent and cause lifelong disabilities and changes to a person’s personality.
Some people suffer cognitive impairments caused by head injuries. They might have reductions in their ability to learn, remember, reason, or concentrate. They might also have trouble multi-tasking, organizing, or planning following a head injury in a motorcycle crash.
Communication problems can also happen. People who suffer serious brain injuries might have trouble reading and writing. They might also have slurred speech or have trouble with using tone to express emotions. Some people might also suffer problems with moving the muscles of their mouths to say some words.
Brain injuries can also cause behavioral changes. Some people might show obvious changes in their self-control, social behavior, or empathy. Others may have physical or verbal outbursts or display a lack of inhibition and judgment.
Many people suffer emotional problems after a traumatic brain injury, including mood swings, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and depression. Some survivors have visual problems and suffer impairments in their hand-eye coordination. Others may have balance problems or have chronic ringing in their ears.
Finally, the physical complications of a TBI can range from minor to severe. Some of these include chronic headaches, seizures, dizziness, paralysis, and fluid on the brain.
Levels of consciousness and TBIs
Doctors assess people who have suffered TBIs based on their levels of consciousness, including the following:
- Vegetative state
- Minimal consciousness
- Full consciousness
Helmets and head injuries
While motorcycle helmets will not prevent all head injuries, they help to reduce the risks that people might suffer brain and other injuries in accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, helmet use is approximately 37% effective at preventing motorcyclists’ deaths. They are also 67% effective at preventing TBIs, making it important for motorcyclists and their passengers to wear them every time they ride.
Reducing the risk of head injuries
To reduce the risk of suffering head injuries in a motorcycle accident, you should do all of the following things:
- Choose the right helmet, and wear it. Some motorcycle helmets are not safe. You should check any helmet that you consider to make sure it has the DOT symbol on the outside of the helmet’s back. This shows that it meets federal safety guidelines. After you purchase a motorcycle helmet, always wear it whenever you ride. If you are involved in a collision that impacts your helmet, you should purchase a new helmet even if the old one looks fine.
- Check your equipment before you ride. Before you get on your bike, walk around it to make sure everything is working correctly. Check the air pressure in your tires and all of the lights and signals.
- Wear reflective gear. Wearing reflective gear can help others to see you on the road. This can help to reduce the risk of a motor vehicle colliding with you.
- Avoid speeding. Traveling at a high rate of speed increases your chances of being involved in an accident. Riding at a slower speed will also help to lessen the physical forces that might be released if you are involved in a collision.
- Keep your attention focused on the road. Always keep your attention focused on the road, and watch for other motorists to anticipate what they might do. When you are approaching intersections or side streets, pay attention to any vehicles that are present so that you will have time to react if they pull out in front of you or run a red light.
Symptoms of a brain injury
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the following symptoms might indicate that you have a brain injury and should prompt you to seek immediate medical attention:
- Severe headache
- Fluid draining from your ears
- Bleeding from the ears
- Bruises on the whites of your eyes
- Bruises on the scalp
- Problems with balance
- Memory loss
- Vision changes
- Trouble focusing
- Slurred speech
- Uncharacteristic behavior
If you have a brain injury, it can quickly worsen if you do not seek immediate medical attention.
Costs of TBIs
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lifetime costs of traumatic brain injuries total around $76.5 billion, including both direct and indirect costs. Around 90% of the medical costs involved with TBIs are comprised of the costs of treating people whose brain injuries require hospitalization and those who succumb to their injuries.
People who suffer from TBIs may require hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment and aftercare services during their lives. These costs include hospitalization, treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, and possible long-term care. People who have suffered brain injuries often struggle to find employment or be unable to return to work.
Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney
If you or your loved one have a head injury following a motorcycle crash, you should seek immediate medical attention. The next thing you should do is consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer. Contact us today to request a free consultation by calling 800-535-1797.
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